by Annemarie Roodbol

JOIN AFRICA'S ENERGY REVOLUTION

With a strong focus on major industry trends, the continent’s most dynamic conference will once again in May showcase how community scale projects are Africa’s energy future

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The power and energy landscape in Africa is undergoing significant change” says Evan Schiff, African Utility Week event director, adding that current trends include “the availability of private investment for power and energy projects, the fast development of energy storage, renewable energy is becoming cheaper, gas that is an increasingly attractive mode of power generation in Africa, and that in the next 10 years, nuclear will become an increasingly important mode of base-load power generation.”

The investment, trade and development opportunities in the sub-Saharan Africa’s electricity sector are estimated at $835 billion of capital investment, $490 billion for generation capacity and $345 billion for infrastructure.

Sharing their expertise

The 17th annual African Utility Week is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals and takes place from 16-18 May 2017 at the CTICC in Cape Town. The event will gather over 7000 decision makers from more than 40 countries to source the latest solutions and meet over 300 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions the event also boasts a seven track conference with over 300 expert speakers.

The conference programme will once again address the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors: ranging from generation, T&D, metering, technology and water. These include two exclusive plenary keynote sessions featuring the most sought-after international speakers.

Says Schiff: “We are known for consistently gathering a group of industry elite real world doers who share their expertise from grid to socket, best practices for effective power and water supply. Once again, we will not disappoint.”

Already leading global advisory firm KPMG is returning to African Utility Week, this time as its exclusive diamond sponsorship. “KPMG’s commitment to create agile utilities in the energy sector across Sub-Saharan Africa, has motivated the firm to take up a diamond sponsorship opportunity at the 2017 African Utility Week” says Ahmed Jaffer, Chairman of KPMG in South Africa and the Head of Power and Utilities. He adds: “African Utility Week is a great platform that attracts key decision makers within the sector.”

The African Utility Week expo offers an extensive technical programme sessions that are CPD accredited, free to attend, hands-on presentations that take place in defined spaces on the exhibition floor. They discuss practical, day-to-day technical topics, best practices and product solutions that businesses, large power users and utilities can implement in their daily operations.

New platform

“Another strong trend in the sector is that the energy consumer is becoming more aware of their environment and how their power is generated and distributed, whether they are a residential home, a mine, a village, a shopping centre or manufacturing plant. Cleaner, more affordable energy generating options will increasingly become the norm rather than the exception.

“All these factors will mean that the utility as we know it will not look the same within 10 years… change will happen. We are therefore launching Energy Revolution Africa, a new platform for community scale projects,” says Schiff.

Energy Revolution Africa will provide a unique forum for solution providers to meet with the new energy purchasers such as metros and municipalities, IPPs, rural electrification project developers and large power users, including mines, commercial property developers and industrial manufacturers. The latest innovations and projects in the sectors of renewables, future technology, energy efficiency, micro/off-grid and energy storage will be showcased.

More side events as part of the African Utility Week platform include:

  • African Power Finance & Investment Forum: Financiers and project owners will hear from expert speakers who will identify the key trends impacting project finance in regional energy markets with updates on and insights into market opportunities, sources of capital, financing instruments and access to project finance. A featured session on regional power integration will explore new exiting methods of developing cross-border power projects on a PPP basis, explore the opportunities for investors, and show how regional power integration can substantially save capital investment costs.
  • The Gas-to-Power World Congress reflects the continuing transformation of the energy ecosystem in Africa and beyond. Gas and renewables are perfect partners to help address an array of future energy challenges, including climate change, energy security and energy finance, currently three of the world’s largest and most important challenges. The event will look at new business and investment opportunities in gas-to-power, energy infrastructure, FSRU, LPG and LNG.
  • The Utility CEO Forum is held as a three-day by invitation only board meeting alongside African Utility Week, where the men and women who lead and guide Africa’s power and water sectors discuss the path of transformation. Discussions centre on areas of co-operation, development plans and the advancement of regional centres of excellence throughout Africa.
  • The Nuclear Power Africa Conference features expert speakers who will address the myths and realities, latest technologies, regulatory and financing challenges and the economic spin-offs created by a nuclear new build programme. Nuclear stakeholders and prospective suppliers will gain first hand insights into prospects for new jobs, training programmes, and the business opportunities created by the localisation of the supply chain of a nuclear new build.
  • The fourth edition of the African Utility Week Power Industry Awards brings together 800 of Africa’s most renowned power and water industry professionals. The Power Industry Awards is the leading gathering to recognise, reward and celebrate the successes of Africa’s power and water sectors during the years 2016 and 2017.
  • Africa Utilities Technology Council: A Telecommunications/ICT conference track programme will be presented that will cover topics such as: IT/OT convergence, IP networks and utility telecoms network performance measures. The AUTC content will continue in three dedicated sessions—one each in the T&D, Metering and Water tracks of the main strategic conference.
  • Power Africa: Women in Power Lunch; West African Investment Breakfast Briefing; East African Investment Breakfast Briefing.

Industry support

Apart from KPMG’s diamond sponsorship, long-running supporters and industry stalwarts EPG and Landis+Gyr are also back as platinum sponsors, while Conlog, Poweroad, Vodacom and Sensus are gold sponsors again. African Utility Week and Energy Revolution Africa are organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK. Other flagship events in Spintelligent’s power portfolio are East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC), West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC), iPAD Rwanda Power & Mining Investment Forum and iPAD Cameroon Energy & Infrastructure Forum.

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